Good Monday morning, Illinois. I watched “Thunder Force” on Netflix over the weekend. It’s a goofy superhero spoof set in Chicago and includes a down-to-the-wire mayoral election.
After a two-week break, state lawmakers are back to work this week — in person, in Springfield — with renewed focus on helping the state emerge from the pandemic. Watch for legislation seeking to stabilize businesses and schools and identify post-Covid health needs.
Fresh off the passage of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ agenda to address systemic racism, lawmakers are expected to look at all legislation through an equity lens. There’s also a push to pay more attention to women’s rights and gender equity.
House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch wants to keep working to lower the temperature between Republicans and Democrats, according to a source close to the speaker. And he’s also committed to decentralizing leadership within his Democratic caucus.
Legislation we’re watching:
Elected school board in Chicago — SCOOP: Watch for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to propose her own take on the issue. This comes after Cook County Democrats endorsed Sen. Rob Martwick’s SB 2497, a bill in the General Assembly that would end the mayor’s power to appoint the city’s 20-member school board and make them elected officials instead. The House has a similar version in HB 2908.
The budget and state’s finances: We won’t likely know until closer to the end of the session, May 31, how numbers will play out or to what extent programs will be cut, as Gov. J.B. Pritzker has indicated. Much will depend on how federal relief dollars will be spent.
Renewable energy: There are three bills focused on how to create a renewable energy marketplace and industry and whether it can be economically (and financially) feasible for nuclear power to be part of it. Watch for the bills to be pulled together into one piece of legislation.
Cannabis lottery: More than a year since cannabis has been legal in Illinois, lawmakers are trying to fix the process that would allow more Black and Latino business owners to be part of the industry. Rep. La Shawn Ford and others are working with the Pritzker administration to come up with legislation that will open up at least two lottery rounds for more dispensaries in Illinois.
Ethics: Rep. Kelly Burke is shepherding bills that will address ethics. The Ethics and Elections Committee is holding subject matter hearings on legislation with the goal of crafting an ethics omnibus bill. The next hearing is Tuesday.
Redistricting: Even though lawmakers don’t have final census data, they plan to use the most recent figures from 2019 to pull together maps that they could ideally just tweak in September when the final numbers come out. Republicans and some independent organizations have called for members of the public to draw the map, but critics of that idea, mainly Democrats who don’t want to lose control of the process, say that could also be fraught with problems.
Republican Kirk Dillard has been approached “by prominent business and Republican leaders” to run for governor, but he told Playbook he’s not interested.
Dillard wouldn’t need training wheels for the job given he was chief of staff to Gov. Jim Edgar and has legislative experience.
“Currently, I have a wonderfully balanced personal and professional life,” he said. “These civic leaders came to me, not vice versa. I am not harboring a desire to run for governor.”
Dillard, who is chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority’s board of directors, said he’s “laser focused” on guiding the Chicago area regional mass transit system out of the pandemic. “It’s an economic engine and an economic equalizer for our local communities and the state of Illinois.”
All eyes are watching to see if Reps. Rodney Davis or Darin LaHood make a move for the governor’s office. They haven’t ruled out running, and their decisions could be based on how their districts are redrawn.
Other potential candidates: former Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady, who recently said he’s considering a potential statewide run for office as secretary of state, governor, or perhaps U.S. Senate; state Sen. Jason Barickman; and attorney and Illinois National Committeeman for the Republican National Committee Richard Porter. Congressman Adam Kinzinger’s name also has been batted about but he has said that a run for governor isn’t likely.
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No official public events.
No official public events.
At Daley Plaza for a wreath laying ceremony to honor Covid-19 victims.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Sunday reported 16 additional deaths and 2,942 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 21,505 fatalities and 1,279,772 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from April 4 through 10 is 4.2 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 5.6 percent.
— Dems kick off tricky nationwide sales job on Biden’s Covid aid plan: “The party’s bill is broadly popular, but the pandemic is still far from over,” by POLITICO’s Sarah Ferris.
— All Illinois residents 16 and older can get vaccinated starting today: “This marks a major shift in the vaccine rollout, which has so far included tight restrictions on vaccine eligibility to prioritize populations most at risk of getting seriously sick or dying of Covid-19. The city of Chicago, however, has decided not to follow the state’s timeline,” by WBEZ’s Mariah Woelfel.
— With vaccine for young kids still months away, what should families do? “None of the authorized vaccine providers in the U.S. are approved for use in people younger than 16, but Pfizer on Friday requested authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for adolescents between 12 and 15…. ’I think technically it probably could come down to your risk aversion,’ said Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent, assistant professor in pediatric infectious diseases at Northwestern University and Lurie Children’s Hospital, adding that whether children have health conditions is a factor too,” by Tribune’s Madeline Buckley.
— After traveling hundreds of miles for the first shot, can you get the second dose closer to home? Opinions divided, writes Tribune’s Angie Leventis Lourgos
— Walgreens in the city aims to vaccinate more than 10,000 residents via houses of worship, by Tribune’s Alice Yin.
— United Center will offer Johnson & Johnson vaccine starting next week, by Tribune’s Morgan Greene
— WALL STREET AGENCY JOINS LIGHTFOOT in bashing bill Pritzker signed boosting pension benefits for firefighters: “The legislation is credit negative for the city of Chicago,” said the advisory from Moody’s Investors Service, “because it will cause the city’s reported unfunded pension liabilities, and thus its annual contribution requirements, to rise.” Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman reports.
— Prosecutors say Adam Toledo, 13, had a gun in his hand when police fatally shot him: “In the most detailed statement yet by authorities on the shooting, prosecutors said the police officer had repeatedly told Adam to drop the gun before the boy was shot,” by Sun-Times’ Sam Kelly.
… Mayor calls for police foot-chase policy after shooting of Adam Toledo, but what shape it takes is an open question, report Tribune’s Paige Fry, Annie Sweeney and Jeremy Gorner
— Toddler shot on Lake Shore Drive out of coma, still on ventilator: “Doctors at Lurie Children’s Hospital said Kayden Swann ‘continues to demonstrate positive improvements,’ though he is still in critical condition in the pediatric intensive care unit,” by Sun-Times’ Sam Kelly.
— CTU members vote to work remotely starting Wednesday if high school reopening agreement isn’t reached: “The Chicago Teachers Union is putting pressure on Chicago Public Schools to finalize a high school reopening agreement early this week,” by Sun-Times’ Madeline Kenney and Nader Issa.
— Covid’s ripple effect on violence in the city: Cash from coronavirus relief checks has led to a rise in gun sales — and crime, reports Sun-Times’ Frank Main.
— Humboldt Park Gators, a rare all-girls baseball team, poised to begin inaugural season: “A new organization called Illinois Girls Baseball was set to offer a full season to local all-girl teams last year, but the pandemic altered those plans. Robert Daniels, the league’s president, said it ended up organizing pickup games, putting teams together with whoever showed up. The improvised format was so successful that the organization plans to continue it,” by Tribune’s John Keilman.
— Gage Park Latinx Council brings care, healing to hard-hit community: “From weekly food distribution to creating public green spaces on the Southwest Side, the council has helped its community and helped their neighbors help each other during the pandemic,” by Sun-Times’ Isabelle Sarraf.
— Nonprofit helps teens navigate Covid life, racial unrest, remote learning, by Sun-Times’ Maudlyne Ihejirika.
— TANK NOODLE in Uptown must return $150K state pandemic grant: “In March, the U.S. Department of Labor revealed that Tank Noodle’s owners had agreed to pay nearly $700,000 in back wages to the workers… In January, the owners of the Vietnamese restaurant in the Uptown neighborhood posted photos on social media while on a flight to Washington, D.C., and attending the ‘Save America Rally,’” reports Tribune’s Louisa Chu.
— $3M bail for Chicago man charged with shooting Oak Park police officer: "Enrique Rosa, who was also shot when the officer returned fire, is charged with attempted murder of a peace officer and aggravated battery with a firearm, Oak Park officials said in a statement,” via the Sun-Times.
— How unions, political groups influenced school board elections: “Some say that’s not such a good thing. ‘It changes the game,’ said Heidi Graham, president of the League of Women Voters of Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Buffalo Grove and surrounding areas. Graham said the league supports getting special interest money and influence out of local nonpartisan elections,” by Daily Herald’s Madhu Krishnamurthy.
— 20 years after Elgin’s most notorious mass shooting: “When the call came into the Elgin Police Department to respond to what we would now call a mass shooting at JB’s, Bill Wolf, a detective in the case, thought it might be a prank… But it was very real. The shooter entered the bar with two shotguns, two handguns and at least 200 rounds of ammunition. As he shouted, ‘I am the king!’ a torrent of bullets killed two people and wounded at least 16 others,” by the Daily Herald’s James Fuller.
‘AT LEAST THE 14TH TIME’ — Long Grove’s historic covered bridge crashed into again: “This is at least the 14th time the bridge has been struck since reopening in August of 2020, after undergoing major repairs from a previous incident,” according to Lake County sheriff’s office spokesman Lt. Chris Covelli. Lake County News-Sun’s Karie Angell Luc reports.
— State police spend $12.5M on cameras in wake of Chicago-area shootings on expressways: Cook County expressways have seen 60 shootings so far this year, after 128 shootings in 2020 and 52 in 2019, via Fox news
— Tourism, hospitality leaders want guidance in Covid recovery: “Michael Jacobson, president and CEO of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association, told the House Tourism Committee Thursday that hotels have ‘been among the hardest hit’ segment of the economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and that the industry may not see a full recovery until 2024 at the earliest,” by Capitol News’ Tim Kirsininkas.
— Judge declines to dismiss lawsuit over indoor dining ban: “A Kane County restaurant’s legal challenge to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s ban on indoor dining can continue, a Sangamon County judge ruled this week. Attorneys for Pritzker tried to have the lawsuit dismissed but Sangamon County Judge Raylene Grischow…declined [though] she did not reach a decision on the merits of their argument,” by Capitol News’ Sarah Mansur.
— On raising the age for misdemeanor cases in juvenile court: “House Bill 111 would allow emerging adults to be considered ‘delinquent minors’ and adjudicated in the system up to their 19th birthday,” by Public News Service’s Lily Bohlke.
— Illinois could expand infertility care definition to include LGBTQ parents: “What I’m trying to do with this mandate is make sure that it doesn’t discriminate against people who do want to become parents,” Rep. Margaret Croke (D-Chicago) said on WCIA’s Capitol Connection with Mark Maxwell.
— Bill calls for banning commercial selling of bred dogs and cats in Illinois: “House Bill 1711 would no longer allow breeders to sell to retail pet stores. ‘We just ask these particular stores, would be purchased through humane sources, because right now, they’re not doing that,’ Rep. Andrew Chesney said,” by WAND/17’s Thomas Garverick.
Should colleges require vaccines for fall? More campuses saying yes: “These types of mandates aren’t new, and their legality has been challenged and upheld for nearly a century. In 1925, a student sued the University of California saying he met all the requirements to attend the school except for having a required smallpox vaccination. The judge upheld the mandate. A 2015 law in California requiring vaccines among school children has also withstood legal challenges. But current Covid-19 vaccines have been authorized by the FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization, which introduces a “new situation” for colleges,” reports NPR’s Elissa Nadworny.
— Sen. Tammy Duckworth book chat: POLITICO Congress editor Elana Schor talked to Sen. Tammy Duckworth about her new book, “Every Day is a Gift: A Memoir.” Their discussion aired on Book TV on C-SPAN 2. Duckworth talked about the process of writing the book. And she shares the advice Sen. Dick Durbin gave to her before it was published (and why she ignored it).
— Teen Vogue’s day in the life with Lauren Underwood: The Illinois congresswoman wakes up at 7 a.m., drinks oat milk, eats veggie burgers and kale, does yoga and listens to podcasts in between meetings with the Democratic and Black caucuses.
— Scoop: Cindy McCain set to land Biden ambassadorship, by POLITICO’s Playbook
— Biden White House puts its police oversight commission on ice, by POLITICO’s Laura Barron-Lopez
— ‘Dumb son of a bitch’: Trump rips McConnell at Mar-a-Lago, by POLITCO’s Alex Isenstadt
Why buy a yacht when you can buy a newspaper? “Billionaires aren’t usually cast as saviors of democracy. But one way they are winning plaudits for civic-minded endeavors is by funding the Fourth Estate,” from The New York Times
— Marshall D. Sahlins, groundbreaking anthropologist, dies at 90: “Marshall D. Sahlins, a brilliant and witty anthropologist who, starting in the 1970s, explored how individuals shape and are shaped by their cultures — a point he had already put in practice a decade earlier as the inventor of the “teach-in” against the Vietnam War — died on April 5 at his home in Chicago. He was 90,” via The New York Times.
— Vietnam vet Jim Zwit dead at 70: His greatest mission was finding families of 8 war buddies killed in 1971 ambush: “It took him 40 years, but he never gave up hope. A fellow Vietnam veteran says: ‘He let the families know their sons did not die alone and they’d never be forgotten,’” by Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell.
Today at 2 p.m.: The state House Redistricting Committee meets to discuss the upcoming drawing of legislative and congressional maps. Here’s a list of additional meetings.
FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Cook County director of Veterans Services Brian Cross and Cook County Board press secretary Nick Mathiowdis for correctly answering that Mayor Richard J. Daley offered Jesse Jackson a job as a toll taker when he first arrived in Chicago. The future civil rights leader didn’t take it. h/t to Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor, authors of “American Pharaoh.”
TODAY’s QUESTION: What was the name and pseudonym (there were two) used by the assistant editor of the now-defunct anarchist newspaper, The Alarm? Email to [email protected].
Congressman Chuy Garcia, Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), attorney and political consultant Brendan Shiller and author Scott Turow
April 12, 2021 at 07:34AM